Hoka is revolutionizing the athletic footwear industry with its foam soles and supportive designs. Over the last few years, the footwear giant has established a loyal following of runners, walkers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike – in addition to a customer base of lifestyle shoe enthusiasts. By catering its product lines to a range of consumer needs, Hoka has become a household name today.

CivicScience data also show increased usage and favorability toward Hoka running shoes. Currently, 13% of U.S. adults own a pair of Hokas, and another 9% intend to buy a pair – both up three points from 2022. The percentage who haven’t heard of the brand saw a corresponding decrease of six points from last year, standing at 61%. When it comes to being favorable to Hoka shoes or not, 32% of consumers familiar with the brand say they love/like them, and a smaller percentage are unfavorable to them (17%). This compares to 30% favorable and 17% unfavorable toward Hoka last year. This means that roughly a third of the U.S. adult population familiar with Hoka are potential or current customers.

In particular, Gen Z adults aged 18-24 are the most likely to own a pair of Hokas, and adults under the age of 35 are the most likely to be intenders – with the 18-34 crowd also the most likely age group to be favorable to the shoes. Additionally, men are slightly more likely than women to own and like Hoka shoes.

So, what makes consumers gravitate toward Hokas? Given the brand’s range in appeal – from trail runners to those casual walkers – CivicScience took a close look at three different types of potential customers: those who wear Hokas for comfort/support, fashion/style, and running/exercising. Results show that half of those interested in the shoes are most likely to buy Hokas due to comfort (50%), followed by running (26%) and fashion (24%)(n=831). With comfort doubling other categories analyzed, the brand could hone its marketing efforts on the shoe’s design and support to appeal to a mass audience. 

Even though comfort ranks as the most popular reason consumers would buy Hokas, the running shoe market is very prominent and rapidly growing. The global running footwear market was estimated at 15 billion in 2021 and is expected to hit 18 billion USD by 2030. Given expected growth, CivicScience took a closer look specifically at Hoka running shoe customers and how they compare to other running shoe customers. Today, Nike and New Balance running shoes are the most popular; however, the percentage who have bought these brands of running shoes over the last year has decreased since 2021. Whereas the percentage who have purchased Hoka running shoes in the last year has held strong – the only brand to do so. Compared to other running shoes, people were the least likely to buy Hokas, but its stability year-over-year hints at the market potential. 

5 Unexpected Hoka Customer Insights

Further analysis via the CivicScience InsightStore uncovers unexpected insights among Hoka customers: 

  • Fifty-seven percent of Hoka intenders are favorable to the sports retailer Cabela’s, which more than doubles the percentage of current Hoka owners (27%) favorable to the retailer.
  • Fifty-eight percent of Hoka fans are also fans of On / On Cloud shoes. 
  • One-quarter of Hoka customers attend sporting events 2+ times per month – more than doubling the percentage of non-customers. 
  • Sixty-four percent of Hoka-wearers spend at least one hour in their car per day, compared to 48% of the Gen Pop.
  • Six-in-ten Hoka intenders say they run or jog weekly, which doubled from last year.

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